Film Reviews: BIRTH/REBIRTH and RUN RABBIT RUN (Sundance Film Festival)

January 26, 2023

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at [email protected] He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.


A provocative take on the Frankenstein mythos, director Laura Moss’s birth/rebirth finds pathologist Rose (Marin Ireland) — who doesn’t have the time or desire to deal with your petty life problems — forming an uneasy alliance with midwife Celie (Judy Reyes) when the latter discovers that Rose is using Celie’s recently suddenly deceased daughter Lila (A.J. Lister) in an experiment designed to bring the dead back to life. Plenty of horror films have questioned how far parents will go to bring back a child who has passed away, but the questionable ethics displayed by the two main characters here go beyond the usual supernatural bargains and such, making them more monstrous than any reanimated corpse. Moss, who cowrote the screenplay with Brendan J. O’Brien, shows assured direction, and Ireland and Reyes have terrific chemistry together. Aficionados of Frankenstein mythology should put this one high on their need-to-see lists, as should fans of medical horror.  

Run Rabbit Run

One bizarre turn of behavior leads to another in Australian horror Run Rabbit Run as fertility doctor Sarah (Sarah Snook) tries her best to keep her seven-year-old daughter Mia (Lily LaTorre) from having a relationship with Sarah’s elderly mother Joan (Greta Scacchi). After discovering a white rabbit in front of their home on her birthday, Mia begins to insist that her name is different and that she misses Joan, whom she has yet to meet and from whom Sarah has been estranged, she displays increasingly odd actions, and Sarah in turn begins behaving in disturbing manners. Secrets and the supernatural come into play in director Daina Reid’s well-crafted film, and though it doesn’t offer much new in the “creepy kids with troubled parents” fear-fare department, it boasts top-notch performances from Snook and LaTorre, along with a strong supporting cast, and has a chilling atmosphere.

birth/rebirth and Run Rabbit Run screen as part of Sundance Film Festival, which takes place in-person and online from January 19–29, 2023. For more information, visit


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